TEHRAN — Iran’s defense minister announced Monday his country’s intention to examine missile parts that the US ambassador to the United Nations displayed last week, claiming they were “undeniable” evidence that Tehran has been arming Yemen’s Shiite rebels.
Gen. Amir Hatami said Iran will file a complaint to the UN and demand that “parts of the missile be delivered to Iran” for examination.
He told the semi-official Tasnim news agency that US claims cannot be “answered remotely.”
At a news conference in a hangar at a military base in Washington last Thursday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley presented recently declassified evidence, including segments of missiles launched at Saudi Arabia from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.
“It was made in Iran then sent to Houthi militants in Yemen,” Haley said. “From there it was fired at a civilian airport with the potential to kill hundreds of innocent civilians in Saudi Arabia.”
The missiles prove “blatant violations” of UN Security Council resolutions while the international community was “looking the other way” because of the nuclear deal, Haley said. The US will now rally other nations to push back on Iran’s behavior, she added.
Iran dismissed it as a “fake and fabricated” claim. Tehran denies arming Yemen’s rebels in the war with Saudi Arabia.
“This purportedly evidence, put on public display today, is as much fabricated as the one presented on some other occasions earlier,” said Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman at Iran’s mission to the United Nations.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said Haley’s presentation was further indication of a need to contain Iran’s missile program, which Jerusalem has long argued is a lacuna in the nuclear deal.
Yemeni rebel spokesman Muhammad Abdul Salam said late Friday on Twitter that Washington is “fabricating lies” to escape the repercussions of its recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that triggered protests in the Arab and Muslim world including in war-torn Yemen.